Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville's emergency response teams were dispatched during a drill Aug. 30 to the Centralized Credentials and Privileging Directorate (CCPD) in Building 554 where reports of gunshots fired were placed via a 911 call.
Upon entrance into the building, the security force found the scene to be quiet with the exception of sounds of pain from wounded employees. This was a different scenario than previous active shooter drills because the patrolman were not engaging with the reported suspect and it actually emulated the recent shootings at The Jacksonville Landing.
Capt. Scott Olivolo of CCPD, expressed the point, "adding the security force response teams to their drills elevated the realism and showed how much people need to be aware of their surroundings, both at work and out in public venues."
Once a search of the building was completed, the all clear was given and Fire Department Emergency Medical Response teams were directed to the Casualty Collection Area (CCA) where they treated and simulated transporting victims from CCPD to local hospitals.
During the debrief at CCPD, one of the female victims stated, "unlike previous walk-throughs, she froze when she saw her co-worker standing there with a gun and didn't know how to react."
This was an important fact because it stresses the point that you don't know how you will react and muscle memory from training may be the only thing that saves you from being a victim.
In addition, the exercise targeted training in standing up a staging area for emergency vehicles and command and control from the incident command post.
"I am extremely pleased with the way the active shooter drill was handled. Everyone who participated in the drill performed their roles admirably," said NAS Jacksonville Executive Officer Capt. Brian Weiss.
"Following the recent shootings at The Jacksonville Landing and Raines High School, it is critical we maintain our vigilance to guard against these incidents. Situations like these can happen anytime and anywhere. We must never forget that."
NAS Jacksonville's Security and Emergency Medical teams will be conducting three more active shooter drills in November.
All personnel who work at NAS Jacksonville need to be more aware of the Wide Area Network announcement systems and should follow transmitted directions for their personal safety and the safety of emergency responders.
Kitt Tolliver, a medical staff specialist at the CCPD who volunteered to play the shooter in the drill, recognizes the importance of regular drills.
"Active shooter drills need to happen more often," he said. It's best to get it right the first time, because in the real world there won't be any do overs."